Derbyshire company taken over by its employees – as old owners reward them for overcoming Brexit and Covid ‘challenges’

The former owners of a Derbyshire company have given control to their employees as a reward for battling through the ‘challenges’ of Brexit and Covid.

Friday, 20th May 2022, 11:55 am
Updated Friday, 20th May 2022, 11:56 am

The Clay Cross-based Hubaco company– which incorporates Terra Nova Equipment and YourSchoolUniform.com – has announced that is has moved to employee ownership.

Husband and wife team, Andy Utting and Carolyn Budding, have run the businesses for 22 years, and recently transferred them to an Employee Ownership Trust.

Andy said that they hoped the change would give staff a greater sense of ownership as the business develops.

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Hubaco is now owned by its employees, after being run by its previous owners for 22 years.

“Our teams have overcome the most difficult challenges of the last two decades of Brexit, Covid and now the Ukrainian war.

“We wanted to not only reward our staff for the work and commitment they have put in, but to secure the character of the businesses. Specialist businesses are often swallowed up into larger organisations as their owners and founders move on.

“We believe the future evolution of Terra Nova Equipment and YourSchoolUniform.com are best served through their continued independence, which employee ownership delivers.”

Carolyn Budding added: “We have a great and loyal team, some of whom we’ve worked with for 22 years. People enjoy working in our businesses, so it was important to retain the culture and provide continuing job security for our staff as we develop the succession plan for the ongoing leadership of the business.

Terra Nova Equipment Ltd owns three brands; Terra Nova, Wild Country and Extremities. All are thriving amid the increased interest in camping and outdoor holidays, both in the UK and overseas, with a record number of orders for 2022.

The company has maintained production capabilities in their Clay Cross factory, enabling them to experiment with new ideas and create niche, bespoke products.

For YourSchoolUniform.com, the objective is to provide quality, affordable school wear that is easy to purchase for parents, carers and schools. Recently, the business teamed up with Uniformerly, an online second-hand uniform market place, to help ease the financial burden of buying uniform for parents.

Andy said: “Carolyn and I remain on hand for advice, and will assist with the development of the businesses over the next few years where needed. However, it is important that younger people are able to develop their own ideas and can see a path to senior management and greater responsibility.”